In the course of the 2nd ECU Board meeting on February 20, 2021, several important decisions regarding the European Qualification system for the World Championship Cycle have been made.
- European Championship 2021 will be held in Reykjavik between August and September 2021, being a part of the next World Championship Cycle (FIDE World Cup 2023). The exact dates will be announced by the Icelandic Chess Federation the following days.
- The European Open Chess Championship 2022 will be organized in Podčetrtek, Slovenia from March 27th (arrival) to April 9th (departure) 2022 and is a part of the World Championship cycle.
- The Romanian Chess Federation confirmed the European Women Chess Championship 2021 in Iasi, Romania. The event is scheduled for the first half of June but may be rescheduled for later in the summer with a new announcement in March.
Concerning the qualification stage for FIDE World Cup 2021, the European Chess Union Board taking into account:
a) The existing health conditions, and travel restrictions in Europe
b) The re-confirmation by FIDE that World Cup 2021 will be organized in Russia starting in the first half of July and so the continentals qualification stages shall be completed by May 2021.
c) The quality of the European representation
d) The main principle that qualification to FIDE World Cup shall not be restricted by any criteria of nominations or further geographical distribution that will exclude in advance a big number of European players made the following decisions:
- Forty (40) additional spots were set for the European players for FIDE World Cup 2021. ECU Board on its meeting on January 2020 in Larnaca, Cyprus decided not to keep 50% of these additional spots for the European qualification stages but to be distributed to forty (40) European federations. This decision ensured the wide geographical\federations representation at the FIDE World Cup. Additionally, one (1) spot was awarded to the 10 federations of European Small nations (Zone 10.1) that do not get any of these 40 spots.
- Ten (10) spots will be awarded to the highest European rated players (average rating 1st July 2020 - 1st June 2021) after the 13 top FIDE rated players, World Champion, and World Cup 2019 four (4) finalists spots will be calculated and announced by FIDE.
- Thirty-six (36) spots will be awarded through a European Hybrid Qualification event that will be organized in 9 rounds from May 22-30. This decision ensures, under the current conditions the access to qualification to hundreds of players and many more through the national pre-qualification events.
The exact regulations for the European Hybrid Qualification event will be finalized and announced by the mid of March. The hybrid event will have a 30,000 euros prize fund supported by the FIDE Continental Development fund.
Full text of ECU Circular Letter
Official website: https://www.europechess.org